University of Minnesota Autonomous Snowplow

ITS Minnesota supported students from the University of Minnesota attending the Ninth Annual Autonomous Snowplow Competition in Toronto in January 2019. 

Link to U of M Snow Squirrel Competition Performance

The purpose of this competition is to challenge university and college students, as well as the general public, to design, build, and operate a fully autonomous snowplow to remove snow from a designated path.  The objectives of this competition include encouraging students and individuals to utilize the state of the art in navigation and control technologies to rapidly, accurately, and safely clear a path of snow.

University of Minnesota students developed a Snow Squirrel that was entered into the competition and competed against several other entries.  The video link below demonstrates how the autonomous snow plow navigated an S-shape with no navigational aids and made no collisions.

The University of Minnesota and the Snow Squirrel took first place in the competition! Congratulations to the group that demonstrated the snowplow!

2018 ITS America Annual Meeting Call for Papers/Sessions Now Open

The Intelligent Transportation Society of America (ITS America) is now accepting papers for its 27th Annual Meeting, taking place June 4-7, 2018 in Detroit, Michigan.

This year’s Program Committee is looking for high-quality papers for the Annual Meeting technical program to narrate this year’s theme, “Transportation 2.0” Papers should be related to one of six main topics:

  • Connectivity, Autonomy and the Future of Transportation
  • Cybersecurity and Privacy Opportunities and Challenges
  • Electrification and Infrastructure
  • Regulatory and Financial Challenges Related to Deployment of ITS Technologies
  • The Impacts & Opportunities of Big Data
  • Transportation Systems Operation

Free Rides on MnDOT Autonomous Shuttle Bus


Autonomous Vehicle technology is rapidly developing around the world. Minnesota offers unique climate challenges that are much different from others currently testing these technologies. Deploying an AV pilot project in Minnesota will better position the State to influence national policy and prepare Minnesota transportation owners and stakeholders for the future.

The vehicle will undergo a series of winter weather conditions at MnDOT’s MnROAD facility near Monticello from December 2017 through March 2018. This closed loop facility (not open to other traffic) allows for safely testing the vehicle in snow, ice, cold weather and salt covered road conditions.

Learn more about Connected and Automated Vehicle technology at MnDOT.

Public ride opportunities

Free rides will be offered during the week of the 2018 Super Bowl at Nicollet Mall from 3rd Street to 4th Street:

  • January 26, 27, 28
    11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Rides are subject to weather conditions.


Call for Abstracts for 2017 ITS MN Fall Forum

ITS Minnesota, a state chapter of ITS America, strives to enhance the awareness of emerging technologies in transportation.  As part of this effort, ITS Minnesota is seeking presentations for the 2017 ITS Minnesota Fall Forum, to be held October 17th & 18th at the Crowne Aire Plaza in Bloomington, MN. 

Each year, the Fall Forum provides public and private sector attendees presentation, exhibition, learning, and networking opportunities.  The focus of this year's Fall Forum includes Smart Cities, Autonomous and Connected Vehicles, and Connected Corridors, and will feature industry-leading speakers from across the country.  To complement these presentations, ITS Minnesota is seeking abstracts focused on innovative transportation technology projects in Minnesota.

Abstracts, of 500 words or less, should be submitted by August 18th, 2017 to  Each submittal should include a presentation title, abstract, and the presenter's name and contact information.  Presentations are expected to be 15 to 25 minutes in duration.  ITS Minnesota will notify selected presenters by September 1st, 2017.

Addition of Connected Vehicle Capabilities to ITS National Reference Architecture

The USDOT's Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS) Joint Program Office is pleased to announce the release of the first version of the ITS National Reference Architecture to fully incorporate connected vehicle capabilities in detail.

Version 8.0 of the Architecture Reference for Cooperative and Intelligent Transportation (ARC-IT) and its accompanying software tools are available at no cost from ARC-IT Version 8.0 is a major upgrade to the National ITS Reference Architecture that integrates content evolved from both the National ITS Architecture Version 7.1 and the Connected Vehicle Reference Implementation Architecture (CVRIA) Version 2.2. ARC-IT provides a unifying   framework that covers ITS comprehensively, including connected vehicle and traditional infrastructure ITS capabilities. ARC-IT and the accompanying toolsets help implementers develop regional architectures to effectively meet their needs and ensure regulatory compliance, while facilitating efficient, secure, and interoperable ITS deployments. Visit the What's New section to learn precisely how ARC-IT Version 8.0 integrates the National ITS Architecture Version 7.1 and   CVRIA. ARC-IT also includes the release of two companion software tools--the Regional Architecture Development for Intelligent Transportation (RAD-IT) and the Systems Engineering Tool for Intelligent Transportation (SET-IT): RAD-IT provides all the functionality that regional architects have come to expect from Turbo Architecture, updated with a more modern user interface and use of the ARC-IT database. SET-IT provides related project architecture functionality tailored to implementation and project specification. Both tools are backwards compatible with their previous incarnations and available at

ITS America Releases Reply Comments to the FCC on Safety Spectrum Sharing

ITS America recently filed reply comments on July 22nd, 2016 with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) on the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking stating that any sharing the 5.9 GHz (DSRC) Band with unlicensed devices should be permitted only if it can be shown that such sharing will not interfere with DSRC’s ability to protect and save lives. The comments can be read by clicking on the following link:

ITS America also maintains a summary of the comments filed to date on their website at the following address:

2017 Minnesota Transportation Conference and Call for Presentations

The 2017 Minnesota Transportation Conference is scheduled for March 1-2, 2017, at the Saint Paul RiverCentre in St. Paul, MN.  

At this time, the conference planning committee is soliciting presentation ideas for the 2017 conference. Presentation ideas must be submitted electronically by Monday, July 18th, 2016 for consideration. The conference planning committee will notify submitters by November whether or not their abstract has been accepted for presentation.  

More information will be added as it becomes available to the conference website at:  We look forward to seeing many members of ITS Minnesota at this event in March 2017!

Conflicts between Autonomous Vehicle Development and Legislation

Below is a link to an Associated Press article describing potential conflicts between Autonomous Vehicle manufacturers and researchers with efforts to develop legislation within various states designed to ensure the overall safety of autonomous vehicle travel.  This article was also featured in the Star Tribune on March 17th, 2016.

Semi-Autonomous Vehicle Featured During Super Bowl Commercial

During the 2016 Super Bowl, Arrow Electronics aired a commercial highlighting the power of technology by giving an injured race car driver the ability to drive again through the use sensors within the vehicle detecting head movement and breathing to drive the vehicle on a controlled race track.  The commercial is an example of the progress being made by auto manufacturers with respect to the development of autonomous vehicles.

Click HERE to view the commercial that was run during the Super Bowl.